On paper, a match between the second and 18th-placed sides on the ladder looms as a one-sided affair.
But North Melbourne’s recent strong form means it demands great respect ahead of Saturday’s match against Geelong.
With three wins from the last five games, the Roos have come on in leaps and bounds since the mid-season break.
“In the last month or so they’ve (the Kangaroos) been well and truly in the top half of the ladder in a lot of key indicators,” Geelong coach Chris Scott said.
“They’ve got some players back in the second half of the year that obviously make a difference.
“We consider it a real challenge. We respect the way they are going about it. We are really aware of their strengths and it’s going to be difficult to have the game played the way we want it to be, because they’ve been a real challenge for pretty good sides over the last little bit.”
Adding to Geelong’s task, travelling to Tasmania and the Roos’ home away from home at Blundstone Arena.
“They know the ground at Hobart well and I think that their self-talk is they play well there, I think they’ve got enough evidence to support that assertion,” Scott said.
“It’s going to be a unique set of circumstances for us. I certainly haven’t coached a game down in Hobart.
“The circumstances around the preparation for the game are very different. But at the end of the day they are the same for both teams … they know the ground a bit better, but we’re literally travelling on the same flight down.
“With the exception of the trip up the road from Geelong to the airport, both teams will be in the same boat.”
Geelong will be sweating on the fitness of Joel Selwood, as the midfielder looks to prove he’s recovered from corked quad.
The Cats have won their last four games.
Scott also paid tribute to Ben Cunnington, who has had surgery after the discovery of a testicular tumour this week.
“On behalf of the Geelong Football Club, we hope that he comes through OK.”